Town Centre Regeneration Fund
Scotland's towns feeling the pinch in the economic downturn can now bid for their share of the £60 million Town Centre Regeneration Fund.
Applications for the scheme which aims to revitalise the country's hard pressed high streets are now open.
The fund will complement efforts already underway to support town and city centres across Scotland which are feeling the effects of the economic downturn.
A wide range of bodies including local authorities, Community Planning Partnerships, business Improvement Districts, Town Centre Managers, local Chambers of Commerce, businesses and third sector groups are eligible to apply.
Minister for Housing and Communities, Alex Neil, said:
"The opening of applications to the Town Centre Regeneration Fund is good news for High Streets across the country. It means that they can bid for much needed funding in this tough economic climate. We and COSLA are pleased to be taking this forward.
"These are hard times for businesses and families across Scotland and this government is working hard to meet this challenge, refocus activity and ensure Scotland gets through the economic downturn in the strongest possible position.
"This funding highlights the importance of Scotland's town centres to the economic and social fabric of the nation and this government's commitment to the improvement of our local high streets.
"I know that in many areas work has already begun on bids and I would encourage as many groups from as many areas across the country to apply for a share of the funding."
Bids that satisfy eligibility criteria will be assessed on the basis of the economic, social and environmental benefit they deliver, the time required to deliver and the degree to which they support strategic local plans. We will be looking particularly to support those bids that reflect local partnerships agreements and/or will be delivered through local partnerships. An independent Advisory Panel will then make recommendations to Ministers on allocations, making sure that all of Scotland benefits from the Fund. Ministers will take final decisions.
There will be two opportunities to submit applications for consideration. The first deadline date is June 1, 2009 with decisions on applications expected by the end of July. A second assessment round for applications received after June 1 and before August 21 will also take place. Results of this round should be known in October 2009.